Thursday, 6 December 2018
Monday, 3 December 2018
Sunday, 2 December 2018
Tuesday, 27 November 2018
Tuesday, 20 November 2018
Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines are entitled for special pricing on ChessBase products with our special arrangement with Chessbase India.
We are happy to announce the following options for those interested in ChessBase 15 with the prices all in USD:
Please direct your orders to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please direct your orders to email@example.com
Tuesday, 13 November 2018
Friday, 9 November 2018
Thursday, 8 November 2018
Top 5 Play in the World Cup! The Woman Champion in the World Championship!
Wednesday, 7 November 2018
The inaugural Thailand Pattaya Open Chess Championship took place from 20-31 October 2018 and what a success it was!
Links to my reports for ChessBase India are below:
https://www.chessbase.in/news/Pattaya-Open-2018 and https://www.chessbase.in/news/Tran-Tuan-Minh-is-the-winner-of-the-first-Thailand-Pattaya-Open-Chess-Championship-2018
With the interview with organisers also published in the Asian Chess Federation website:
Nothing but rave reviews from all present and best of all, it is confirmed that it will again take place from 18-27 October 2018. Book you dates now - I have and am certainly not missing it for anything.
Monday, 22 October 2018
The father of Malaysian chess, Dato' Tan Chin Nam, born 18 March 1926, has passed away on 21 October 2018 at 93 years of age in his home in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Since 1974 Dato' Tan had been at the helm of Malaysian chess - for many decades he the President of the Malaysian Chess Federation while also being its biggest patron - and from 1986 to 1990 also served as FIDE Deputy President for Asia and then from 1990-1994 as a member of the FIDE Executive Board.
Not many people today know that it was Dato' Tan who originated and introduced Rapid Chess to FIDE and to the chess world.
The FIDE and Asian events he brought to Malaysia are simply too many to list, and include a World Championship Match, Interzonals, World Youth U-16 Olympiad and numerous Zonals, the only one missing was perhaps the World Chess Olympiad, and even today it is because of his vision that we have the region leading Malaysian Chess Festival for 15 years now and still counting.
Dato' Tan was a man of many interests, or more accurately, passions, where chess perhaps just trumped horse racing, but more important was that in all that he did, he was a huge success.
A successful entrepreneur and businessman who rapidly became one of the top ten richest men in Malaysia, he was always a visionary and innovator, and was instrumental in bringing to and supporting chess in China - the Big Dragon Project - whose rise as both a global economy and chess powerhouse he long foresaw.
Dato' Tan's passing will leave a vacuum in Malaysian chess that will be impossible to fill and Asian chess will be very much poorer for it while FIDE has lost a good friend who embodied "Gens Una Sumus".
Yet, for those who knew him best, it was not his leadership, his generosity and patronage of the game with the endless sponsorship, or even the paradigm changing initiatives, but the many hours watching and playing chess with a man who came to chess late but whose love for it was second to none and who just wanted to be a better player than he was the day before.
Monday, 15 October 2018
I am now back from an unexpected visit to Dubai and from there on to Batumi and after recovering from 48 hours of travel, am fully recovered and teaching again.
My weekend classes are broken down now to three levels i.e. Enjoy Chess 0-1400, Young Talents 1400-1800 and Future Stars 1800-2200 but not many of my students are serious tournament players although a few will be going to the Penang Open from 3-10 December to get much needed experience.
So I decided the most useful thing I could do to help them would be put together a rather comprehensive program of lessons on tactics, combinations and attack, and the best time is at the very start of the school holidays.
I think that this course I have put together will also be useful to all players and especially those rated around 1400-1800 strength even if their actual FIDE ratings might be lower and so decided to open it up to everyone and if interested as in my post on the Institute for Chess Excellence FaceBook page, do call (or WhatsApp) me as soon as possible because places will be limited.
Mukhriez Shah Mahmood Shah (Malaysia) vs Joseph Mwale (Malawai)
Round 11, Batumi Olympiad
Participants might be interested at some of what is will be taught and as a sweetener, here we have a position where in the Batumi Olympiad, young Mukhriez Shah was up against an experienced opponent rated 200+ points more in last round match that Malaysian needed to win against an even lower ranked Malawi.
Here Muhriez showed his lack of experience by playing 27 Rec3 when the simple 27 b3 would have kept the position equal.
In response his opponent could not control himself and played 27... b5 when in fact 27... Rf1+ was better and after 28 Kd2 , perhaps c5 would have kept a small advantage and all the chances.
Mukhriez now played 28 Ra7! If instead 28 Bf5?, of course 28...Rxf5 and then 29... b5 wins. Yet after his opponent replied 28...b5, it was Black who had the attack!
The game continued 29 Rb3 Rf1 30 Kd2 Rf2 31 Ke1 Rf4 32 Bf5 Ke7 33 Rxb7
Here White seems to be getting some counterplay but with his next move Black is able to activate his remaining piece and begin an attack on the king.
33...Nf3+ 34 Kd1 Rxh3. The threat is 35... Rh1, winning.
Now R3xb4 would have kept things safe but Mukhriez blundered with the seemingly natural looking 36 Re3+ and after 36...Kf6, was lost. Again lack of experience and playing by intuition and not with concrete analysis.
In a very difficult, perhaps lost position, Mukhriez tried 37 c3 but then followed 37... Rh1 38 Kc2 Rh2 39 Kc1? Of course 39 Kd1 Ne5 40 Rxb4 would have kept the game going longer.
Now his opponent played Ne5 and 40 Re1 was forced to in order to defend against the back rank mate.
Simplification into a won endgame then followed beginning with Rxf5 41 gxf5 Nd3 42 Kd1 and now instead of rushing to capture the Rook, 42... Nxb2 to pick up a pawn and bring the b pawn into the attack.
Then followed 41 Kc1 Nd3 42 Kd1
But now, instead of 43... Nxd1, 43... bxc3 with the threat of 44... Rd2 mate! It's all tactics! Now 44 Re2 is forced and the pawn queens!
Luckily the Malaysian team pulled through with a narrow 2.5-1.5 win to achieve a 50 percent overall score with 5 wins, 1 draw and 5 losses and in doing so turned what was going to be a total disaster into something of a save in Batumi.
Monday, 8 October 2018
We finished 93rd (tied 82nd-101st with a group of 20 teams on 11 points, a 50 percent score).
R1: Loss: 0.5-3.5 vs Belarus, Europe/Ex-Soviet
R2: Draw: 2:2 vs Afghanistan, Asia/Middle East
R3: Win: 3-1 vs Kuwait, Asia/Middle East
R4: Loss: 1-3 vs Madagascar, Africa
R5: Win: 4-0 vs Saudi Arabia, Asia/Middle East
R6: Loss: 1-3 vs Mongolia, Asia
R7: Win: 3.5-0.5 vs Libya, Africa/Middle East
R8: Win: 3.5-0.5 vs Botswana. Africa
R9: Loss: 1-3 vs Canada, Americas
R10: Loss: 0-4 vs Belgium. Europe
R11: Win: 3-1 vs Malawi, Africa
Organized by the Myanmar Chess Federation under the auspices of the ASEAN Chess Confederation.
Only players from the ASEAN member Federations can participate.
ASEAN Open Champion will be awarded a 9-game GM norm, in case of tie, up to first three will be given IM Title; similarly, 9-game WGM norm and WIM titles for women will be awarded.
Subject to the number of players, the system shall be between 9 rounds Swiss / Round-robin.
20th December: Arrival
Technical Meeting at 20:00 hr.
21st December: Opening Ceremony - 09:00 hr.
Round 1 - 10:00 hr.
22nd December: Round 2 - 09:00 hr.; Round 3 - 16.00 hr.
24th December: Round 5 - 09:00 hr.; Round 6 - 16.00 hr.
25th December: Free Day
26th December: Round 7 - 14:00 hr.
27th December: Round 8 - 14:00 hr.
28th December: Round 9 - 09:00 hr.
Closing Ceremony - 16:00 hr.
29th December: Departure
Swiss System. FIDE-rated and FIDE-titled. Rate of play: 40 moves in 2 hours, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, all without time increment. Zero Start shall apply.
Trophies will be awarded to the Winners, 1st Runner-Up and 2nd Runner-Up. There’ll be no prize money.
6.1. Registration must be made by National Chess Federations for the registering player.
6.2. Entry Fee for Open Championship (FIDE Rating above 2300)
GMs with FIDE Rating above 2500: Free (but a deposit of US$100 is required)
2401 to 2500 - US$150; 2301 to 2400 - US$200
Note: Each Federation may nominate one player below FIDE Rating 2300 for the Open Championship and it should not be lower than 2200. In case of odd number, the host country has the right to add another player.
6.3. Entry fee for Women’s Championship (FIDE Rating 2100 and above)
FIDE Rating above 2300: Free (but a deposit of US$100 is required)
Note: Each Federation may nominate one player below FIDE Rating 2100 for the Women’s Championship and it should not be lower than 2000. In case of odd number, the host country has the right to add another player.
After 7th December 2018, a late surcharge of US$50 will be imposed.
7.1. For Open and Women, the organizer will provide twin-share room with 3 meals for 1 player (Open) and 1 player (Women) from CACDEC countries.
7.2. The players from the other countries shall have to pay for the rooms of their choice.
US$ 90 US$ 60
8. Playing Venue:
Oattara Thiri Hotel, Naypyitaw, Myanmar.
4th ASEAN CHESS CHAMPIONSHIPS (OPEN/WOMEN) 2018
Family Name: First Name:
Federation: Gender: M / F (circle one)
Age: Date of Birth (DD/MM/YYYY):
FIDE ID: Rating: Title:
Room Type: (Single / Double)
Arrival Date: Time: Airline: Flight No.: From:
Departure Date: Time: Airline: Flight No.: To:
Endorsement of Federation: (Name of Responding Official, signature)
Please return this entry form by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, 2 October 2018
With four rounds to go, Malaysia is in a large group of teams on 7 points and tied 79th to 104th.
Our actual current ranking of 86th outperforms our seeding of 107th with the team playing to their "real" ratings against opponents between 2100-2200, a level of competition we are used to.
The luck of the draw gives us Botswana next, a team seeded 116th which is even lower than we are.
The Malaysian women came to the Olympiad ranked 68th and on 9 points, are now in a group 24th to 43rd.
Li Ting on top board and Nithya on last board are outperforming their ratings while the rest are playing to their normal level.
We play 76th ranked Tajikistan and with a win can break into the top group for the next round.
Monday, 1 October 2018
Once again we have the monthly ranking of our players according to FIDE (World Chess Federation) and it is particularly relevant given it is coming out during the World Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia.
Why? Well, because its as indicative as it can be of the current level of the teams we have sent to participate in this global event that takes place every two years.
Starting with the men, we can see that two are in the top ten, one is in the top twenty (or top fifteen if you prefer to measure like that), another is just outside the top twenty, and one who is not shown because he is not 2000+ is ranked 90th.
With the women is much easier to understand, all five are in the top ten including the first, second and third ranked.
Friday, 28 September 2018
Saturday, 15 September 2018
The World Junior Chess Championship is the real benchmark of talent with many winners graduating to the senior title and many more joining the ranks of the chess elite.
Malaysia has not usually sent our young talent to this event, preferring instead the World Youth Championships which is a much weaker tournament as it is an age-group event with a wide variety and range of participants, meaning as in the Olympiad, there is a group fighting for medals, another group behind but with the chance to make an upset or two and with a bit of luck getting onto the top twenty or thirty, then another group really in the middle, and so on.
Some of our best and most ambitious have however stepped up to the challenge and to these ranks we add FM and NM Wong Yinn Loong, already a national senior champion last year, the mainstay of the Malaysian team to the World U-16 Olympiad, but whose play this year has seen a dip primarily because he is now very more focused on the SPM exams (so why is he even playing one might ask?).
In a super strong field, Yinn Loong has acquitted himself well, performing at over 2300 level and getting 37 rating points on his way to a 50 percent score.
We rarely have our girls play in the World Juniors but this is Rosamund's second time around and as much as she has improved in the last year, she fell short when it mattered over the World Chess Olympiad selection that basically bastardised the National Championships and a lot perhaps had to do with coming off her A-Levels.
Ros cannot be thrilled with her result but she did play to approximately her rating but the many blunders through simple tactical and calculation oversights and poor technique should be of concern if she wants to make real progress in chess.